Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bells of Mindfulness

with Sister Dang Nhiem of the Deer Park Monastery

Do You Have Time to Love?

Do You Have Time To Love?

--by Thich Nhat Hanh (Nov 29, 2004)

To love is, above all, to be there. But being there is not an easy thing. Some training is necessary, some practice. If you are not there, how can you love? Being there is very much an art, the art of meditation, because meditating is bringing your true presence to the here and now. The question that arises is: Do you have time to love?

I know a boy of twelve whose father asked him one day: "Son, what would you like for your birthday present?" The boy did not know how to answer his father, who was a very rich man, able to buy anything for his son. But the boy did not want anything except his father's presence. Because the role the father played kept him very busy, he did not have time to devote to his wife and children. Being rich is an obstacle to loving, When you are rich, you want to continue to be rich, and so you end up devoting all your time, all your energy in your daily life, to staying rich. If this father were to understand what true love is, he would do whatever is necessary to find time for his son and his wife.

The most precious gift you can give to the one you love is your true presence. What must we do to really be there? Those who have practiced meditation know that meditating is above all being present: to yourself, to those you love, to life. [.]

Do you have enough time to love? Can you make sure that in your everyday life you have a little time to love? We do not have much time together; we are too busy. In the morning while eating breakfast, we do not look at the person we love, we do not have enough time for it. We eat very quickly while thinking about other things, and sometimes we even hold a newspaper that hides the face of the person we love. In the evening when we come home, we are too tired to be able to look at the person we love.

We must bring about a revolution in our way of living our everyday lives, because our happiness, our lives, are within ourselves.

--Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Refuge Prayer by Thich Nhat Hanh


At the foot of the Bodhi Tree,
Beautifully seated, peaceful and smiling,
The living source of understanding and compassion,
To the Buddha I go for refuge.

The path of mindful living,
Leading to healing, joy, and enlightenment,
The way of peace,
To the Dharma I go for refuge.

The loving and supportive community of practice,
Realizing harmoney, awareness and liberation,
To the Sangha I go for refuge.

I am aware that the Three Gems are within my heart.
I vow to realize them.
I vow to practice mindful breathing and smiling,
Looking deeply into things.
I vow to understand living beings and their suffering,
To cultivate compassion and loving kindness,
And to practice joy and equanimity.

I vow to offer joy to one person in the morning
And to help relieve the grief of one person in the afternoon.
I vow to live simply and sanely,
Content with just a few possessions,
And to keep my body healthy.
I vow to let go of all worry and anxiety
In order to be light and free.

I am aware that I owe so much to my parents, teachers, friends and all beings.
I vow to be worthy of their trust,
To practice wholeheartedly,
So that understanding and compassion will flower,
And I can help living beings
Be free of their suffering.

May the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha support my efforts..

-- Thich Nhat Hanh --